Hair restoration has never been as advanced as it is today. The times that people had to live with thin hair or baldness are long gone. Also, the days of bad hair transplant or doll’s hair are gone. Hair restoration procedures are advanced, sophisticated, minimally invasive and almost painless today.
Hair Transplant: Types, Consultation, and Procedure-
You can practically take a week off work; have a hair restoration procedure and get a new lease on life.
Hair transplant and its types
It is a procedure that involves extracting follicles from the donor areas of the head and transplanting them to bald spots or filling up thinning areas.
The donor areas are usually the back and sides of the head, which are resilient to hair fall. These areas are not affected by DHT or dihydrotestosterone, an androgen that gives men their male characteristics, and it is also a primary reason for pattern baldness. There are two types of hair transplant that are most commonly used by surgeons around the world.
1. FUE hair transplant.
FUE or Follicular Unit Extraction involves harvesting follicles one by using micro-punches from the patient’s donor site, which are the back and sides of the head, and implanting them into the area of hair loss. This procedure is also used when the donor areas on the scalp don’t have enough follicles available for a transplant, usually in cases when the hair loss is at a very advanced stage. In those cases, the patients’ body hair is used and follicles are harvested from other sites like beard, chest and upper back using the FUE technique. FUE is good for patients with male pattern baldness and involves no incision and heals rapidly.
2. FUT Hair Transplant
FUT or Follicular Unit Transplantation involves extracting a strip of scalp from the back or sides of the head and dissecting it into individual grafts, which are transplanted onto the bald spots. The difference between FUE and FUT is the method of extraction of follicles, while the rest of the procedure remains the same.
Consultation is an important part of the hair transplant journey. During the consultation, the surgeon can assess the extent of hair loss, the reasons behind it, and do a thorough check on the patient’s medical history. The idea is to rule out any illness or disease that may be causing hair to shed.
It is important that if the hair loss is happening because of some other reason, and not pattern baldness, that needs to be diagnosed. The patient will have to be treated for that illness before a hair transplant is suggested.
During the consultation, the surgeon also determines which procedure will suit the patient, how many follicles they will need and whether the patient is an ideal candidate for a transplant.
Procedure and Recovery
On the day of the procedure, the surgeon will administer a mild sedative to the patient for a pain-free experience. For FUT, the hair on the donor area is cut to about half an inch to prepare it. A strip of follicles is removed, and the donor area is sutured after. The grafts are then dissected and the surgeon creates the implant site. The surgeon then decides the direction, density, and angle of implanting the grafts, post which the grafts are placed.
For FUE, the hair is cut much shorter; almost like a crew cut to extract individual grafts.FUE procedures may sometimes happen over a few sessions, depending on the number of grafts. Post the procedure, there is scabbing and crusting in the transplant area, which will fall out within a week to 10 days. It takes about 2 weeks for the area to look somewhat normal. Meanwhile, you can wash your hair gently with a mild shampoo. The hair from the implants starts to then fall out, before growing back in the next 2-3 months. The hair will grow slowly over the next 6-10 months before it covers the full transplant spot. Post this; the hair follows the regular cycle of growth and fall.
What should you know about hair transplant?
The density of the transplanted hair is thinner than that of original hair. A restoration procedure will cover your bald spots but the density will depend on the experience of the doctor and on how many donor grafts you have. You might experience hair loss even after your hair grows after the procedure. A good surgeon will create a nice hairline, but a hair transplant cannot stop future hair loss.
A hair transplant can be a truly life-changing experience but you have to go in prepared and find an experienced surgeon.